Arlington awarded ‘Best of the Best’ &The Pursuit of Excellence Honor

On October 24, 2011, Arlington Memorial Chapels, Inc., was awarded by the National Funeral Director’s Association, U.S.A. The company representatives accepted the 2 honors:

The Pursuit of Excellence Award

The Best of the Best Award

(NFDA’s National Convention was held in Chicago. My Dad, aunts, uncle and Arlington’s Senior Funeral Director were all present to accept the two honors given by the international organization. While I wish I could have been there to grace the event too, my post remains here in Manila, where personalized and family-oriented service remains a top priority!)

I am so proud of the company and the family! This award should serve as a reminder for us to continue doing what we’re doing and to find fulfillment in serving others at their time of need.

Let me digress a little….

Often, people ask me if I’m fine with what I do for a living, that is, “getting the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be” (Patrick Lynch), and I admit that I spend a few seconds mulling over the question. Do I regret taking on this job? Do I feel as if I’ve foregone other opportunities? Do I feel like I’ve cheated myself because I took a job, which to others may seem, ‘all too convenient’—me being the perennially labeled C.O.O.

To be honest, there are off-days. There are a few of those ‘down days’ when I think to myself, “Am I meant to be here? Am  I even wanted here? Am I making the most of my potential by being here?” Having inherited too much of the artistic chip from my Mom’s side, you’ll often find me doing “creative stuff”—acting, singing, fake-dancing, writing, to name a few. So it’s no wonder to me anymore when people get a little taken aback when I say I work in a funeral home.

I get it. It’s not really something that appears in a young girl’s Bucket List of What-to-bes or What-to-dos. Sure, you’ll get the occasionally bizarre—astronaut, wrestler, circus clown or fortune cookie-writer. But, working in a  mortuary never really appears high up on that list. Either way, I’m here today. I’m here now. And I don’t believe in regrets. There must be a reason and the best thing I can do to respond to life’s gifts, opportunities, windows and doors, is to make the most out of everything.

Going back to the real subject of this blog entry… the awards…

The awards remind me of how blessed I am to be here.  It reminds me that I am here not just as part of this family/company but ultimately, as part of an industry that is privileged to serve. It gives me the assurance that what I do makes a difference, and makes me believe a little bit more in myself.

This may not be the most riveting role or job but it has grounded me in more ways than one.  While there’s certainly no glitz or glamour to it, it’s a job that allows me to help and serve, a job that allows me to spend time with family, a job that gives comfort to those who mourn. And at the end of it all, we all die and wither anyway. I just happen to be exposed to it every single day, and reminded of the fact that I should live every second as if it were my last. So, what more can I ask for?

Here’s our 25th anniversary video. We’re going on our 30th next year. This AVP makes me cry, for some reason. :))

Lolo, wherever you are, I hope I make you proud. I hope we’ve made you proud. I miss you!

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